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Rheumatol Int. 2014 Aug;34(8):1059-63. doi: 10.1007/s00296-013-2839-4. Epub 2013 Jul 28.

Observational study of optimization of biologic therapies in rheumatoid arthritis: a single-centre experience.

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Rheumatology Department, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago de Compostela, c/o Travesía da Choupana s/n, 15701, Santiago de Compostela, Spain,


To analyse the effectiveness of optimization of biologics in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It was a single-centre retrospective observational study from January 2009 to September 2012. The effectiveness of the optimization of TNF antagonists, tocilizumab and abatacept in RA was studied. Optimization included predefined dose down-titration and/or expansion of dose interval in early arthritis with sustained DAS28-ESR <2.6 and established arthritis with a sustained DAS28-ESR <3.2. Primary outcome was time to relapse defined as increase in DAS28-ESR greater than 20 % over baseline. Cox's regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of relapse. Sixty-four patients were included in the study. In the survival analysis, rates of relapse were 9.8 % at 6 months, 31.4 % at 12 months and 44.6 % at 18 months. Rates of patients with an increase in DAS28-ESR > 20 % and ≥1 inflamed joint at 6, 9 and 18 months were 1.6, 17.2 and 27.1 %, respectively. In relapsing patients, mean DAS28-ESR at relapse was 3.44 (2.94-4.79) and mean DAS28-ESR following the return to the prior dose of the biologic was 2.52 (1.42-3.21). No predictors of relapse were found in multivariate analysis. Optimization of the treatment with biologics in RA is an efficacious and safe treatment option.

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